Seattle School Board President Zachary DeWolf announced last week that the the Seattle School District had passed a “transformational and historic” resolution that would change LGBTQ inclusion practices for the the entire district.
From DeWolf’s Facebook page:
This week, we passed my transformational and historic resolution “No. 2019/20-28 – Inclusion for Our LGBTQIA+ Students, Staff, and Community,” which commits the District to the following (policy changes in process):
✅ All new school construction projects must include one multi-stall gender-neutral restroom
✅ An audit of our 104 schools to identify space available for gender-neutral restroom conversion
✅ All curriculum adoptions (history, English language arts, etc) must explicitly incorporate LGBTQIA+ history, contributions, significant events and figures
✅ One school will be identified to change their school name to that of an LGBTQI+ local or national hero
✅ Exploration and pilot of an LGBTQIA+ studies high school course
Now, it’s time for the state to commit to many of what we’ve accomplished here statewide
The resolution, which was created by DeWolf, an out gay man, was passed unanimously by the Board. DeWolf forged the resolution after meeting with LGBTQ advocates and students in the Seattle school system who specifically asked for more LGBTQ history to be taught as well as safe spaces for queer youth including gender neutral bathrooms and locker room facilities.
You can check out the full resolution HERE.
Timeline on implementation of these new policies isn’t clear but DeWolf expects to have discussions with the district and a report by fall.
One of the points that has stirred interest was the renaming of a district school after a prominent LGBTQI+ individual. Names that have been discussed including Marsha P. Johnson, the pioneering civil rights activist who was a beloved veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969 as well as local names like Cheryl Chow, a former school board member, Seattle City Council member and principal who came out in her 60s.
DeWolf estimates it could take a year to identify and rename a district building.